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Kaiser Permanente Provides Seed Funding to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's New Open School for Health Professions
Date:1/5/2009

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Kaiser Permanente announced today that it will provide funding of $750,000, to be distributed over three years, to sponsor the IHI Open School for Health Professions, an initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Funding for the new IHI Open School demonstrates Kaiser Permanente's shared commitment with IHI to assure safe, quality and effective health care.

"I am proud of the fact that over the years, Kaiser Permanente has contributed to quality improvement and safety training for hundreds of physicians and clinical support staff. With this partnership, we now have the opportunity to teach these skills to students from the beginning of their professional careers," said Ray Baxter, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy, Kaiser Permanente.

"Kaiser Permanente has in so many ways set the standard for quality across the entire health care spectrum," said Don Berwick, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. "They know how crucial it is to our future that young health professionals master the skills and knowledge they will need to help lead the continual improvement of care. I am deeply grateful that Kaiser Permanente has generously stepped forward as a key program founder for the Open School."

Created in September 2008, the IHI Open School would have, in its first year, 9,000 registered students attending online classes from 25 states in the United States, and from 10 countries worldwide, including India, Scotland, England, and Sweden. The school's novel program offers free, virtual training and course work in quality improvement and patient safety that are taught by world-renowned faculty. Although no prerequisites or tuition will be required, health professional students will participate in a rigorous, structured, web-based learning environment.

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